Sunnis and Kurds reject Jaafari

Iraqi Sunni and Kurdish leaders have officially rejected the possibility of Ibrahim al-Jaafari remaining as prime minister in the next governmment.

    The US says political deadlock is fuelling violence in Iraq

    Al-Jaafari's Shia party, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), had made another attempt to save their embattled candidate by setting up a committee to talk to Sunni and Kurdish groups.

    But Dhafir al-Ani, of the Sunni-led National Concord Front, said: "We have sent a letter to our Shia brothers explaining that our position remains the same - that of rejecting Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's candidacy."

    Mahmud Othman, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament, said his group had again rejected al-Jaafari's candidacy.

    Al-Jaafari has faced opposition from within the UIA, with Adel Abdel Mahdi, the Iraqi vice-president, saying he should resign.

    "After we formally hear from the other lists, like the Iraqiya, which will also refuse to work with al-Jaafari, then we will today sit down in the alliance and decide," a senior UIA source said on Monday.

    However, the group announced later in the day that it would postpone until Tuesday its decision whether to drop al-Jaafari.

    Although the alliance has the largest number of seats in parliament, it falls short of an overall majority. Shia leaders need the Kurds and Sunnis to form a unity government.


    Sunni and Kurdish groups accuse the prime minister of monopolising power and failing to lead the country adequately.

    The US and Britain have urged al-Jaafari to step aside to break the deadlock

    over the formation of a government, believing that the political vacuum there is fuelling ongoing violence.

    More than 100 Shias have been killed in a week during a series of bombings, some attacking religious sites.

    Triple bombings killed 90 worshippers at a popular Baghdad mosque after Friday prayers, and 12 people died in a series of attacks on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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